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    32 Of Our Readers' Holy Grail Skincare Products

    We'll have what they're having.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their favorite holy grail skincare products and y'all delivered! Here are the products they can't live without.

    1. Biossance Squalane Oil hydrates parched skin and locks in moisture to keep your epidermis feeling soft, smooth, and plump. It may also help even your complexion, reducing redness and irritation.

    Hand pumping the clear oil from the bottle

    "It's seriously the only thing that saved my super dry skin. Every winter my face gets so dry and flaky; I can’t even wear makeup because it just won’t go on my skin smoothly. Squalane oil changed that. I use it every single day, morning and night. My skin is smooth and glowy now!! I’ve tried so many different creams and other oils and this is the only thing that made a significant difference." —annalh79

    "This is the stuff of dreams, people! I put it on my face at night after serum and before my night cream, and wake up with bouncy, bright skin. The first time I used it, I had overnight results. I am constantly yelling about this product to everyone who will listen; I even convinced my dermatologist to try it." —Bek O'Connell, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Biossance and Sephora for $32.

    2. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid* 2% Emulsion boosts collagen production, evens your complexion, and softens rough patches so your skin looks glowy and bright.

    The dropper bottle

    Retinoids can increase UV sensitivity, so definitely wear sunscreen when you go outside if you're using this on your face at night.

    "This was one of the first serious skincare products I used and it really helped smooth out my skin texture and gave my skin a healthy glow! I stopped using it for awhile to try other products but nothing works like that does."—emzaret

    Get it from Sephora for $9.80.

    3. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil rejuvenates skin with a cocktail of nutrients like marula seed oil (duh!), vitamin E, omega fatty acids, and other antioxidants. The results = smoother, bouncier, more even skin without the greasy residue!

    The dropper bottle

    "Drunk Elephant is AMAZING. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s been so worth it for me. I have really sensitive and dry skin and the regimen I use makes my skin so moisturized and dewy and glowy. The marula facial oil has a ton of antioxidants and omegas in it and makes my skin straight up GLOW." —elizawithaz

    Get it from Amazon and Sephora for $40+ (available in two sizes).

    4. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant resurfaces the skin, brightening hyperpigmentation and acne scars, clearing pores, and improving skin texture. If you're just dipping your toes in the chemical exfoliant pool (first of all, welcome!!), start by applying this every other day or a few times a week to build up a tolerance and not irritate your skin.,

    "It dramatically changed the texture of my skin." —kristinaowen

    Also suggested by: sarahvish and ghoulkid

    Promising review: "This stuff is amazing. I noticed a difference in my skin after three days of using it! My skin was glowy and as smooth as a baby's butt! I have already repurchased it and will most likely continue to repurchase in the future!" —Alexandria Rials

    Get it from Amazon for $10+ (available in two sizes).

    5. Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask tackles dry, dull, uneven, and textured skin overnight with a potent mixture of vitamin C, squalane, hyaluronic acid, and other antioxidants. Your first thought when you look in the mirror the next morning will be, "Damn, I look good!!!"

    The yellow mask in its jar

    "It saved my dry and flaky skin in the winter. My skin is now glowing!" —kristinaowen

    Get it from Amazon and Sephora for $48.

    6. Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment reduces redness (it has a green tint in the pot and green and red are opposites on the color wheel so they neutralize each other out...remember elementary art class?) and protects your skin from environmental aggressors (like the sun!).

    Before and after of model showing the treatment neutralized basically all the redness on their face

    "I have sensitive skin and have been combating redness as long as I can remember. A few dabs of this over my moisturizer and my skin is even and there is no redness to be found!" —samanthae4ef54d0a6

    My coworker Elizabeth Lilly also swears by this stuff. Check out her Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment review for more deets and a compelling before and after (#1).

    Get it from Sephora for $52.

    7. Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar contains only the good stuff — and by good stuff we mean glycerin, a humectant that helps the skin retain moisture.

    The orange soap bar

    "That’s all I use throughout the week, and people regularly comment on how youthful my skin is and assume I’m in my early twenties and not my mid-thirties. I used to have really sensitive skin and still can’t switch up products a lot, so it’s nice to have something that consistently works." —gotthevapors13

    Get it from Amazon for $2.99.

    8. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser removes dirt, oils, makeup, and other nasties from your skin without drying or stripping your face.

    Before and after of reviewer who used the cleanser showing that it evened their skin tone, improved texture, and made their skin glow

    "Followed by CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. It took me 15 years to learn that less is more on my face. These two products are literal gems." —tracy110302

    Danielle Healy, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    9. And since we just mentioned it, CeraVe Moisturizing Cream latches on to moisture and pumps the skin full of ceramides, which are molecules that help make up the skin barrier. Throw in some hyaluronic acid and you've got the recipe for 24 hours of hydration!

    BuzzFeed writer's hand holding the tub of moisturizing cream
    Marquaysa / BuzzFeed

    "I'll swear by it FOREVA. I have the atopic triad which is science-speak for 'I have eczema, allergies, and asthma.' And how's that related to this moisturizer? Welp, my skin gets triggered super easily whether it's due to straight-up eczema flare-ups, allergic reactions to fragrances in skincare products, or hives and redness due to allergic reactions to stuff like dust and pollen. That said, there are very, very few products that don't make me itchy, red, and (sometimes) scaley. This CeraVe moisturizer is one of the products that make the slim cut. Aside from it living up to its 24-hour hydration promise (game-changer), it has also never broken me out and actually helps soothe the many skin irritations that I experience. In short, it's my holy grail and CeraVe better not ever stop making it." —Marquaysa Battle, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it *and* a travel size Hydrating Cleanser from Amazon for $14.99 or get just the Moisturizing Cream from Target for $18.99.

    10. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro™ Whipped Moisturizer replenishes the skin's moisture barrier with a blend of antioxidant-rich green tea, six African oils, and plant ceramides. Your skin will drink it up like a smoothie!

    The moisturizer in a purple press jar

    "I use the Lala Retro Whipped Cream at night, or when my skin is feeling drier than usual. It’s been an absolute savior this winter so far. It’s thicker than the Protini Cream, but again it’s not suffocating and it absorbs so well so I can put it on and go right to bed and it doesn’t make my pillowcase all gross." —elizawithaz

    Get it from Amazon and Sephora for $60.

    11. Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40 doubles as both a skin shield and a primer with a subtle shine. It's made with hyaluronic acid (for moisture), vitamin B5 (for softness), sea lavender (for antioxidant protection), and cocoa peptides (for blue light damage).


    Suggested by: ghoulkid

    Promising review: "I have medium skin with warm undertones, and this gives me a great glow, NOT sparkly and NOT shimmery. I wear this alone or under my tinted moisturizer. It does not feel like I’m putting on an SPF. Five stars from me!" —JEV84

    Get it from Sephora for $36.

    12. Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream melts into the delicate skin around your eyes, hydrating it intensely and locking in moisture. The gel-cream formula absorbs quickly and may help you look like you actually got a full eight hours of rest. Reviewers say it even helps calm irritated skin!

    "This works so well to hydrate the eye area. It absorbs quickly and reduces puffiness and dark circles." —vw71squareback

    Get it from Amazon for $12.22.

    13. No7 HydraLuminous Water Concentrate drenches your skin with moisture yet doesn't feel heavy or suffocating. You can also consider your skin protected from pollution particles thanks to its Pollution Shield Technology.

    Model applying the clear product to their cheek with a dropper

    "My skin feels so hydrated and plump after using it and it's so refreshing." —monikap6

    Get it from No7 and Target for $14.99.

    14. Australian Gold Tinted Mineral Sunscreen offers SPF 50 and a powder-like matte finish so your face doesn't feel like an oil slick.

    Before and after of reviewer wearing the sunscreen showing that it doesn't look greasy and that it provides a subtle tint

    "I have acute melasma from my pregnancies and this keeps it under control all summer. It’s water resistant, which means you can sweat and it won’t run off your face, and it has a matte finish. Plus it’s only $13 for a tube that lasts me almost a year, even using it every day." —vw71squareback

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

    15. Bio-Oil treats a variety of issues, including uneven skin, stretch marks, and acne scars. It helps your body retain moisture (bye bye dry skin!) and absorbs into the skin fast so you won't feel greasy.

    Bio-Oil contains vitamin A, which can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Be sure to apply sunscreen before leaving the house!


    Promising review: "So I've been using Bio-Oil for about a month now and It seems to be working. My newest scars have definitely been improving but my old scars still seem to be pretty dark. My face does feel a lot smoother and more moisturized. It hasn't been irritating my skin and it's a great moisturizer. I use a little bit just to get a thin layer over my face then I apply my lotion on top. I've also been using African black soap and witch hazel so the combination of these things may have resulted in this outcome but overall I'd say it's a pretty good product as adding it to my routine has seemed to help." —Amber

    Get it from Amazon for $8.89+ (available in three sizes).

    16. Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Moisturizer delivers soft, bouncy, revived-looking skin via signal peptides (amino acids that bind moisture to the skin), pygmy waterlily (antioxidants that moisturize, calm, and soothe), and soybean extract (restores vital nutrients).

    The teal blue press jar

    "I use the Protini Polypeptide Cream as my day moisturizer and there’s been a noticeable difference in my skin’s tone, texture, and firmness. It’s thin enough that I can put makeup on over it and it doesn’t feel suffocating or gross." —elizawithaz

    Get it from Amazon and Sephora for $68.

    17. Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb quenches dry skin's thirst for moisture with its lightweight gel formula containing lady's mantle (to nurture), ceramides (to retain water), glycerin (to maintain moisture levels), and more.

    BuzzFeed writer holding pot of Aqua Bomb captioned with five star emojis
    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    "I've found my life's one constant, the thing that I know I can depend on until the very end. It's Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb — the greatest moisturizer I have ever and likely will ever use. I've been repurchasing it for five years and have no plans of ever stopping. It has a gel-cream formula, which is cooling and calming on the skin — like giving your skin a big ol' glass of water. It feels as incredible to put on sun-weary skin in the hot months of summer as on chapped, dry skin in the winter. It's an everyday, all year product." —Rachel Dunkel, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Amazon for $32.30 and Sephora for $38.

    18. The Ordinary Peeling Solution 30ml AHA 30% + BHA 2% targets textured skin and fine lines. It resurfaces your skin with a mixture of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid. The first two are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that exfoliate the skin's outer layer while the last one, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), reduces pore congestion.,

    "It has been a game changer for me. I use it twice a week and it keeps my acne away, and leaves my skin looking more luminous and less discolored/splotchy." —bribinks

    Get it from Amazon for $18.75.

    19. Acure Ultra Hydrating Green Juice Cleanser cleans deep in your pores, combining antioxidant-rich ashwaganda, skin-softening reishi, stress-fighting holy basil, vitamin-packed kale, rejuvenating melatonin, and soothing hemp seed oil.

    BuzzFeed editor holding the tube
    Genevieve Scarano / BuzzFeed

    "Having dry skin is *not* fun and my forehead, T-zone, and cheeks feel like a desert sometimes. This cleanser is like H2O for my face; it's packed with adaptogens and supergreens that help lock in hydration. I use this super smoothie to give my complexion a moisture boost and remove stubborn makeup." —Genevieve Scarano, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    20. CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion is a dream for anyone with sensitive skin. It provides long-lasting hydration, absorbs quickly, helps restore the skin barrier, and holds a seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association.

    Reviewer who uses the moisturizer showing off their beautiful and clear skin

    Suggested by: Danielle Healy, BuzzFeed Writer

    Promising review: "If you’re someone who gets reactions to scented lotions THIS IS THE PRODUCT FOR YOU! I’ve been using this lotion for a few months now, and the difference is amazing. Most moisturizers make me break out, but this one keeps my face just right. I even stopped using anything else! Just some soap and water, then this lotion! Managed to put my whole family on it haha." —Ty

    Get it from Amazon for $11.19.

    21. Fenty Skin Start'rs Kit are Rihanna's three skin you must have them too! This three-step system comes with Total Cleans’r (a cleanser made with Barbados cherry and coconut-derived cleaners), Fat Water (a do-it-all toner that brightens, smooths, and prevents shine), and Hydra Vizor (a 2-in-1 lightweight moisturizer with SPF).

    Fenty Skin

    "The Fenty Skin kit has cleared up my skin and has minimized lines on my face. Plus, it smells like heaven and has a bunch of natural, tropical ingredients." —Taylor Steele, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Fenty Skin for $75.

    22. The Ordinary "Buffet" earns its holy grail status by treating dryness, dullness, and uneven texture with a plethora of peptides to boost collagen and keep the skin feeling bouncy and elastic.

    The dropper bottle

    "I’m 35 and I have the best skin of my life right now! Plus, it’s super affordable!" —christinmcrich

    Get it from Sephora for $14.80.

    23. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser gently cleanses and provides up to 24 magical hours of moisturized skin. It's fragrance free and has a rich and creamy lotion-like texture, so washing your face will definitely feel luxurious.

    Reviewer before and after showing the cleanser helped clear up all the red acne and acne scars on their cheek

    "I have really sensitive skin and it’s the best gentle cleanser that I’ve found for me. It removes all the dirt and oil and my skin isn’t stripped after I use it." —sierrasmith

    Get it from Amazon for $14.64.

    24. Shea Moisture African Black Soap with Shea Butter purifies and dries oily skin without leaving your face feeling tight. The tamarind extract is a natural astringent, and the tea tree oil helps keep your skin matte.

    The bar
    @sheamoisture / Via

    "I absolutely swear by this soap. I've never had major acne struggles, but I do get zits just like everyone else and am prone to nasty rashes (or could be a weird form of acne? My derm wasn't sure) on my forehead. I use this every morning in the shower, and while I'm not 100% free of pimples (as a person with bangs and who uses a roll-on essential oil stick for headaches, I can never really expect to be), I feel like this stuff makes my skin glow. I also don't get my flare-ups of dermatitis on my forehead when I use it daily. I really think this stuff has done wonders for my skin." —Katy Herman, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Amazon for $3.86 and Target for $3.99.

    25. Supergoop! SPF 30 City Sunscreen Serum plays well with your makeup, providing UV protection, skin-conditioning and soothing agents, and moisture without leaving behind a white cast.


    "This is the other important fixture in my morning mini-routine. I love that it's not perfumey, and it's really light and easy. I'm very low-key, but what matters most to me is that I get some SPF on my face, plus some moisture so my skin doesn't feel all dry after blow-drying my hair in the morning. Slathering this on accomplishes both of those things and makes me feel like I have a fancy skin routine with just a couple pumps of a bottle." —Katy Herman, BuzzFeed Editor

    Promising review: "I might be the most minimalist Sephora shopper ever. In the morning I like to wash my face, then use one product. I'm looking for as many benefits in one bottle as possible, and this product delivers a lot in one package. I used the same lotion for years, but now that I'm headed toward the big 4-0, my skin has changed a ton. I've always had combination skin, but the dryness has increased and the oil and blackheads have decreased. This lotion isn't greasy. In about a month, I've seen an improvement in my overall skin tone and fine lines. I will buy again!" —skingvta

    Get it from Sephora for $42.

    26. First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser babies your skin with calming ingredients like aloe and allantoin. Makeup, dirt, and grime will flow off your face and down the drain, leaving behind only soft, balanced skin.

    The squeeze tube

    "Love love love this cleanser!" —Chelsea Stuart, BuzzFeed Editor

    Promising review: "As a health care worker during COVID-19, I am finding that this face wash is a lifesaver. I have dry skin anyways but wearing masks, shields, goggles my skin is raw and peeling around my eyes and mouth. This face wash is gentle enough that I can still wash my face with it. It’s runny so don’t squeeze hard or too much will come out. My skin doesn’t feel tight, burn, itch. I had to switch from my usual to this and I’ll be using it long after all this ends." —RiRi0901

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99 and Sephora for $21.

    27. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask solves your dry, dull skin woes. Orange flower, rose, sandalwood, and primrose extracts restore much-needed hydration so you wake to reenergized skin.

    Model wearing the mask

    Suggested by: Chelsea Stuart, BuzzFeed Editor

    Promising review: "Absolutely love this night mask! Love its light texture and that it offers a hydration burst to the skin almost instantly upon application. I use this once a week. My skin feels soft, supple, and radiant the next morning. It absorbs within my skin quickly and doesn’t leave behind any residue on my pillow, which is simply awesome. A little product is enough to cover my face and neck and I know this first pack will last long but this is definitely going to be bought again and again and is now a permanent must-have in my skincare list." —bingetraveller

    Get it from Amazon for $26.99 and Sephora for $25.

    28. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner decongests your pores with willow bark (a natural BHA), seals in moisture with cactus water, and exfoliates with PHA to reveal new, glowy skin.

    Before and after showing the toner made the model's skin glow

    Suggested by: Sarah Lee, BuzzFeed Staff

    Promising review: "The most amazing toner you'll ever use. The smell has a very herbaceous scent. It has an amazing bouncy texture that almost feels as it absorbs into your skin immediately! I could most definitely feel a difference in my skin the next day as I woke up." —Josee04

    Get it from Amazon for $38 and Sephora for $34.

    29. Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask works hard while you rest, delivering vitamins and nutrients to your skin, hydrating it, and gently buffing away dead skin cells that are dulling your shine.

    The pink mask

    Suggested by: ghoulkid and Sarah Lee, BuzzFeed Staff

    Promising review: "I've been using this for almost a month and I use it on a daily basis. When I have breakouts I apply this at night, and the next morning I wake up and the breakout has shrunk tremendously or is almost gone. Not to mention, it's made my face so much brighter and softer! I use this religiously and have found a little goes a long way. I love this product so much. Even with my oily skin, it doesn't cause my skin to feel oily. It is PERFECT." —kaitykaitt

    Get it from Amazon for $49 and Sephora for $45.

    30. Farmacy Honeymoon Glow harnesses the power of mother nature using flower acids and honey to soothe skin and minimize pores. It also contains hyaluronic acid so your skin looks juicy and plump.

    The yellow-colored serum

    "Gets me through breakouts during that time of the month and honestly whenever i’m stressed out!" —Sarah Lee, BuzzFeed Staff

    Get it from Amazon and Sephora for $58.

    31. Thayers Witch Hazel balances and tones skin, leaving your skin prepped and primed to absorb all the other products that follow in your routine. Reviewers also say it helps clear up breakouts, stat!

    Bottles of the toner
    @thayersnatural / Via

    Suggested by: John Mihaly, BuzzFeed Editor

    Promising review: "I am in my late thirties and have very sensitive skin prone to breakouts. I usually wait until I am halfway through a product to review because my skin can be just fine with it at first, then suddenly decides it won't tolerate it. I have had zero issues with this product! It has really helped soothe my skin and clear up any blemishes. I have not found any other toner that my skin tolerates as well. I will absolutely be buying again and again!" —Stephanie

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    32. Ole Henriksen Wonderfeel™ Double Cleanser gives you that luxurious experience of using a cold cream while penetrating deeply to expertly remove makeup, dirt, and oil.

    The cream
    Ole Henriksen

    "My skin is sensitive and I’m allergic to aloe, so I’m limited on what I can use. It took all my makeup off without burning my eyes and didn’t strip my skin. For some reason they discontinued it. I haven’t been able to find anything else that works as well." —anda_panda

    Get it from Amazon for $19.48 and Ole Henriksen for $16.

    You taking a deep breath before entering your credit card info:


    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Need more for your skin? Check out Korean skincare products you need to know, cheap skincare products that are even better than luxury brands, products for an even skin tone or to deal with acne scars, or check out all of our beauty content for even more great stuff for your hair, skin, and more.

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